There are several tools and techniques to keep track of your work out there. They can be as archaic as simple note taking on a notebook to keep track of your to-dos. They can be as modern as a multi-function app on your phone. Is there really a best app?
Managing your time and tasks is very personal to each of us and honestly, it takes a lot of trial and error. I’m definitely an early adopter, and I can’t help test every suggestion given by the App Store or any of the people I follow on social media. The good thing about this: I can tell you a little bit about some of the best apps that I’ve tried.
Each app has one particular feature that will be the center of your love for it. All these apps are basically one thing: fancy forms of to-do lists. The way that the data is displayed will determine how effective a system can be. There are three apps we will be discussing: Asana, Trello, and ClickUp.
Your digital task notebook
I was introduced to Asana in the workplace. I had used monday.com (then DaPulse) and had enjoyed the list view, but Asana’s workflow was a lot more straightforward and user friendly. Witnessing other people’s likes and dislikes, it was clear Asana is made to provide a solution that can be easily understood and used by all. Although they have added a board view and other special options, Asana is meant to be, look and be used as a list. It has many shortcuts that will allow you to minimize the times your hands have to leave the keyboard.
Asana’s main pro is its notebook-like organization. The visual display seems familiar and hence easy to grasp for beginners.
Although this will only hinder you when working in teams, you must know up-front that Asana does not allow for more than one person to be assigned to one task. You may add followers, you may assign subtasks to others, but you cannot have to people shown as working on the same task.
It's all in the cards
Trello is perhaps the strongest visual organizer there is available. It’s card on lists system is really easy to understand and grasp even if you use it only for its most basic functions. Since Trello has been a favorite for a while, there are many integrations that can be added, although there is a limit for the free users. In the free version, you really get a LOT, and if you have a small business or just want it for your own organization, you might not have to look further. Trello used to be my protege until not very long ago, when I ran into a new amazing app.
Trello is visual. Organizing your tasks within Trello becomes extremely easy as everything can be visualized as a whole or an individual quite easy. Whether you use one card per project, adding several checklists and comments, or your use one card for each task, you can easily look at the big picture and make sure you are not missing anything.
Trello has one huge con that I’m pretty sure many have reported already. There is no way to look at all the tasks that belong to you. If you are aware that you have several tasks to complete, you literally will have to navigate the boards and look for your avatar on the cards.
All of the options in one
ClickUp is my new favorite productivity / organization app. Never had I seen such flexibility in the way you can personalize an experience to work for you. It includes all the views you need without having to spend or search for extras. You can view all your work either as a list, as a board or in a calendar. It includes several hierarchies that allow you to organize properly categorize your tasks and lists however you would like. You can personalize each part to no end, and these settings are not global. You literally get all the choices you need to satisfy all your organization needs.
The key word here is flexibility. Whether you use ClickUp to run a business team, keep your design traffic or have your shopping list for the next time you visit the supermarket, it will allow you to sort it, color-code it and display it in whatever way best suits you.
Flexibility comes with a price. Although you could just use the app’s included templates in order to guide you, to really get the best out of it would be to take the time to personalize each space, project and list to best suit your needs. However, keep in mind you will be able to save templates and repeat settings for new boards.
If you are currently not using any type of task-keeping app, even if you are working for yourself, you are really loosing the opportunity to keep yourself much more organized and hence, much more productive. Keeping your tasks written somewhere will keep your mind in peace that nothing is going to be left out, while allowing you to make better choices regarding scheduling and due dates. As you start measuring when you actually work on a project and when you finally submit it, you’ll get a much better sense of how to organize your time and how much time you need for certain tasks. Try one or try them all! Always feel free to reach out to give us your opinion or ask any question.